In the framework of the COP28 in Dubai, PAGE, GACERE and UN partners led, on 3 December, a discussion on accelerating the application of circular economy principles and practices worldwide. By bringing together representatives of governments, UN agencies officials and UNU researchers, the event reflected on circularity as a game changer for climate action in the real economy.
Rie Vejs-Kjeldgaard, ILO Director of Sustainable Enterprises, Productivity and Just Transition and Member of PAGE management board, opened the event focusing on decent work and social justice, and the potential of circular economy to create jobs.
“We have research that shows that if we invested in circular economy potentially even 100 million jobs could be created. […] We need better policies […] We need skills. We need more evidence-based research about the circular economy and how to make it come about in different contexts, and we certainly need social dialogue […] and then we need finally financing”, said Rie Vejs-Kjeldgaard.
“I will be looking forward to the deliberations that follow, and PAGE will continue to be involved in the circular economy […] we hope that the knowledge that we can create out of that can be to use of all of you”, she added.
Professor Tshilidzi Marwala, Rector of the United Nations University (UNU), underlined the need to build a circular economy culture and the role of government in creating incentives.
“We know what needs to be done there is no crisis as to what needs to be done, so where lies the problem […] we have to take responsibility to build a robust circular economy culture […] from the government perspective and regulation perspective we ought to put mechanisms that will incentivize both the industry the private and the public sector to take this issue of circular economy quite seriously because the integration of circular economy principles within areas such as water, waste management, manufacturing, consumption and production patterns (…)”, said Tshilidzi Marwala.